The best way i can tell you to be fluent with art and culture is to rejoice its glory and never byheart this subject at any cost , try seeing your ambiance for the same for this unique subject and i am damn sure that after exploring by your own you will be well familiar with this subject . for instance many times upsc does ask the questions from current affairs that what actually is happening in current situation or world. Similarly, if you analyse recent year trends for both Prelims and Mains, you will find out how Buddhism, Jainism and ancient philosophies find favor with UPSC almost repeatedly so, this subject is not for byhearting instead it is the subject for exploring by yourself
these key point help you to prepare art and culture
- Visits to museums , monuments and art galleries on some break-days ! (Please don’t overdo this. 2–3 visits suffice ). Also couple of documentaries are available on Youtube.
- Ancient and Medieval India – Old 11th NCERTs . Lay more stress on cultural dimensions, traditions, philosophies etc. than battles or dates.
- Fine Arts Book – 11th NCERT. It is a best one , including the descriptions of famous sculptures and monuments at the end of each chapter. But don’t make the mistake of reading it just once or twice. Each page is crucial, keep writing 1–2 lines on each for revision later. Read it 4 times and google related aspects if you wish (esp monuments and architecture).
- CCRT website : Indian architecture, sculpture, painting and literature portions should be stressed upon.
- Nitin Singhania Old handwritten notes. Easy reading.
- VisionIAS PT notes on Culture. Or if you have been reading Hindu well, that is enough.
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